Lakeland’s Temple Emanuel is holding a “Stand with Israel” rally today to show community solidarity following this weekend’s coordinated, multi-front attack by the militant group Hamas, prompting a declaration of war by Israel.
As of Wednesday morning, Israel was reporting more than 1,200 civilians killed, including 14 Americans, with 2,600 wounded and more than 100 being held captive by Hamas.
If you go
- What: “Stand With Israel” rally.
- When: Today at 5:30 p.m.
- Where: In front of Temple Emanuel at 600 Lake Hollingsworth Drive.
“Israel has been our most dependent ally in the Middle East for the last 75 years, since its inception, and the only democracy in the Middle East,” Rabbi David Goldstein said Monday afternoon. “With the values that both Israel and America share, we have forged a common bond of family and friends. Those who feel that they shouldn’t or can’t support Israel are rejecting the values that America was founded on, as well. Basic humanity demands that people of good conscience stand with Israel at this time.”
Israel has now declared war on Hamas, a Palestinian militant group backed by Iran. Hamas is the de facto governing authority in Gaza.
Local leaders urge unity
Goldstein, who once served in military intelligence, said Saturday’s attack on the Jewish Sabbath was specifically aimed at killing seniors, teenagers, infants and women.
They “were taken as hostages and murdered in the street,” he said. “We tend to think the best of our enemies until proven otherwise. We never thought that type of inhumane behavior would take place.”
He added that “as one generation dies out, the next generation comes up and forgets what used to be.”
The “Stand With Israel” Rally will be at 5:30 p.m. in front of Temple Emanuel at 600 Lake Hollingsworth Drive. In the event of rain, it will be moved inside to Berkovitz Hall.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd will be one of the featured speakers. Cantor Victor Geigner will sing some musical selections.
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